Thursday, April 26, 2007

Voter Id Cards

From another post:

A group of REPUBLICAN legislators has pushed legislation to require photo ids in voting (passed in the TN Senate, pending in House). This would do nothing to avoid dead voter scandals, or to provide auditable election results, but it would deny voting access to the elderly and non-drivers. I have always used my voter registration card for identification at the polls, which would be prohibited under this bill!?

Florida passed similar legislation a few years back, and Katherine Harris used it to great effect to disenfranchise voters. The result? George W. Bush. We do not need laws to get the Bushes elected while denying Democracy to the rest of us. Bad law, bad Republicans.

While I believe strongly in preserving the integrity of the ballot and think voter fraud should be vigorously prosecuted, I lean in favor of letting more people vote and reducing barriers to voting. It is democracy after all. Let the people have their say.

I believe the research shows the largest flaws in the voting process come in systemic errors that miscount votes. Estimates vary, but many experts argue that there is a 3 to 5% error rate in most election counting. (I will try to find the source for those numbers.) On the other hand, dead votes, unregistered voters and multiple votes account for less than 1% of voting totals. It takes a lot of people double voting or posing as other voters to actually cast enough votes to swing an election. An organized effort would be a huge logistical nightmare that would not easily be kept under wraps. I don’t know why Repubs are so concerned about it, haven’t they realized that Democrats are not that organized.

Let’s address the big issue of correctly counting the votes then tackle the smaller problem of who voted.

Setting the Topics

I got this post...
"Sometimes there are important issues which candidates need to be informed about. Having the candidate set the topics (as with this blog) can stifle this feedback, so consider ways to open up the discussion -- maybe a specific blog section for constituent ideas."

...and I agree completely. So, until I figure this out a little better, people can email topics or tag them onto another post and I will do my best to pick them up and start an new post topic. Hence the next post.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Alternative Fuels

With its distribution infrastructure and proximity to agriculture, Memphis is ideally located to be the alternative fuel production and distribution capital of North America. Biodiesel and Ethanol can be foundation of an economic development effort that brings new industry and jobs to the city for decades to come. However, Tennessee lags behind all other states in this region for offering economic incentives to foster this industrial sector. I will work to bring this city and state to the forefront of alternative fuels, which will create prosperity as well as a cleaner environment.

Safer Streets

Crime is one of the greatest problems we face in Memphis. The cycle of poverty and substance abuse leads too many of our youth to committing crimes. Then the justice system puts offenders back on the streets after completing their incarceration. With few job options or other rehabilitation programs, the cycle starts all over again and too many offenders become repeat offenders. I believe in a new approach for our justice system such as a first offender program for juvenile offenders to break the cycle of crime and bring security to our neighborhoods.

Shall we begin?

I have created this post to have a real discussion about the issues facing the Tennessee Legislature. This is not poke fun at elected officials or comment on that state of politics (interesting as it may be), but to get the pros and cons of the issues. I hope you will find a reasoned dialog about these issues and contribute to the discussion.